Wait a minute - there is another category of people who this book is for. Those players who want a reference book to take home, when all the gaming stuff is round the Gm's house. I forget about this category as my gaming companions are as likely to put thier hands in thier pockets towards our hobby, as fly to the moon.
Yes, that's me . Looking forward to the book. And I love the component-based play.
Seriously, I don't get what people who like the original core box find so offensive about the new books. If you don't like how they look, don't buy them. We can discuss the merits of the component-based play and how boring standard rules are (or vice versa) all day long (and we already did in the preview thread) but it will all just boil down to "your mileage may vary".
||Published on 9/28/2010 - 05:10:28
I think that everyone GMstering here could come up whit a better plan to play cardless...for example forgetting the cards completely and simply making opposed checks where succes: u hit. Every succes +1 damage, boons for criticals, banes for whatever...
(huh, seems I found a new way to quote stuff, cool)
I'm sorry, but that sounds quite boring to me. There is plenty of systems around that have abilities listed in a book, and players have to remember what they do (or write it down), it still works. Granted, I personally agree that having the abilities on cards is way better, but who am I to decide what other people want.
edit: also, could you please take the "illiterate discussion" to its own thread, this thread is for discussing the Player's guide preview.
Well I am a player who has been very vocal about this new direction for the game. It seems like this argument goes black and white for most people: you love it or hate it. I am in the middle, on the fence.
I am NOT against bringing new players into the game, the additional rule content it offers me, the quick reference style of these manuals, or anything else that this new edition brings to the table (sorry, it is a new edition imo...sure it updates old rules, but most new editions do precisely that...LO5R for example). My concern is only for the longevity of component play and the future of the component play style after its release.
There's a lot of ways I can see this shaking down, but as it stands now, if I had to inform a NEW customer to get into the game this is what it looks like:
Sales Pitch One:
Sales Person: Well you can buy these three hardback books that contain all the information and rules to play the game and these four dice sets and you will have everything you need to play. Or you could buy this outdated rules set in the core manual plus all these additional box sets to get the same rules contained in these three hardbacks.
Customer: Why do I need the boxes.
Sales Person: Well the components help you manage what you can write down on the character sheet. It is a faster, cleaner interface with the mechanic and helps you play the game that way.
Customer: Oh. You said the rules in the core are outdated.
Sales Person: Yeah. They are outdated. FFG updated the rules system with the hardbacks, streamlining the system with better explanations and the addition of a few new mechanics.
Customer: And that's not in the core box?
Sales Person: No. It's not.
Customer: Well, I want the cards, but I want the updated rules.
Sales Person: Okay, well if you want to go that way, I suggest you buy the three cores and these three vaults. The vaults contain all the cards in the core box and you'll have all the rules from these other expansion boxes in this core book.
Customer: Yeah, but where do I get the cards from those expansions?
Sales Person: Well, you have to still get those other boxes. The cards for the complete rules are spread out over those three boxes. Though buying the two vaults will give you some of the components there.
Customer: So, what you're saying is, to get the complete component play, with fully up to date rules, I need to buy three hardback books, three vaults, and three expansions.
Sales Person: Yes.
Customer: Oh. But the three hardbacks have everything in them, just no cards?
Sales Person: Yes.
Customer: I'll take the hardbacks then.
Now, this conversation does mean that the sales person is familiar with what they are peddling. They are also familiar enough to understand the difference between the two products and what it really entails to get the complete component set. Because, for the new edition a component player has to spend: 80 dollars on books, 60 dollars on vaults, 48 dollars on dice, and another 130 dollars on past expansions to get all the cards. Even though they already have the rules, the cards are in those other boxes. So now a component player who already has everything from Winds of Magic has everything but the actual winds of magic action cards. This measures in compared to the 80 dollars to get the same information you need from the hardbacks.
I know this may be the designers vision of a great product and they think consumers will continue to buy cards because it is the "better" way to play, but honestly, looking at the price difference, 300+ compared to the 80 (plus dice) is a huge difference.
This is then exaggerated by the fact that places such as Barnes and Noble will stock the books where as they will not stock the boxes (as I have never seen them at either major book house). Furthermore, stores will be able to cut their shelf space in half by simply stocking the cores, but not the boxes. These two factors will make the hardback version more openly available to new players compared to the hardback.
In the ends, all of the factors listed above may show an increase in hardback sales over the component play pieces. This means, on paper, the hardback is preferred over component play. In the end, one will reach a higher rate of financial return.
Furthermore, I don't buy FFG's: this is a one time thing line. It won't be. I don't know if it will be every year, but eventually, everything is going to get combined into hardbacks. If hardbacks sell better than components, I can easily see them leading with them a few years from now, and components coming out later, if at all.
Plus, if the hardback mechanism becomes the standard, component play becomes a luxury item. It will cost way more than to just play from the books.
Gamers are frugal first typically and they will go for what is cheaper.
I also see the possibility that the book versions will not be very well received. Already, people feel they could have been done better because they thought this version would not use things like action cards. Well it will. This will be the next level of outcry. Yeah, I can get them in book form, but the system still sucks! Personally, I find it insane to try to do this system without the cards and view it, from a pen, paper, and character sheet stand point to be worse than rolemaster ever was. BUT I DO LOVE the system with components.
I imagine these books may not be well received by the community as a whole. What then, will THAT mean when the next wave of public outcry is over the mechanics itself, not over the fiddly-bits?
I know that's gloomy and admit I will be buying the new edition, FFG has given me currently no reason to believe that the component play style is at all here to stay and will survive this financial maneuver (and I'm all for them making boat loads of cash off of this). Until that time, I will be waiting for the next "BIG SURPRISE" they throw at me for how they are changing things now.